A Forum to be Thankful For

Written by Bette Dewing on . Posted in News Our Town.


Let’s take a pause on Thanksgiving, then celebrate 70 as the new 50!

To think that it’s come to that. And what about bargain-crazed shoppers who storm the stores the next morning, and lest we forget, in 2008, 34 year-old Long Island Walmart employee, Jdimytal Damour, was trampled to death by just such a frenzied mob on what was truly a Black Friday morning. Jdimytal’s family remembers, but the world needs reminding. The story is online and needs to be read and a whole lot publicly said – every November. Indeed, it should become a nation-wide cause, first, so Jdimytal’s so wrongful death is not forgotten, but that it not be in vain and deplores dangerous mob behavior and that, “the best things in life are not things!”

Nor is the only best thing what is served on top of the Thanksgiving plate. Again I’m pushing for some nourishing table talk. The talk should be shared, so no one is left out, or “left behind.” The right response matters, indeed, but so does the response period. Adequate acknowledgement of what the other has said is “nourishing” before we chime in with our own remarks. And the “could be worse” reply should only be used when the other endlessly laments a problem without listening to those of others.

I’m grateful I didn’t hear that response to my recent not-critical-but-still-disabling-and-confining metatarsal fracture. Yup, I fell after all my warnings.

Sure we need to be thankful, but when it’s appropriate, and not about things that that need changing. So it’s no wonder people clamor for black boxes for company or to send messages without being rudely interrupted. What we should be seeking, at small independent stores like Logos book store on York Avenue, are books about caring communication skills.

Another, oh so crucial kind of “mind health” will be addressed on Thursday November 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:3 a.m. at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House located at 331 East 70th Street, between First and Second Avenues. This is the first of State Senator Liz Krueger’s five-part unique Boomer and Seniors Roundtable Forums, titled “How we Age in the 20th Century – is 70 Really the New 50?” It’s not about rejecting what we have hopefully learned over the years, or looking 20 years younger (which sure helps in our ageist society and these series must address that). But this first session is about brain health and how we most desperately don’t want that to give out. Speaking on “the aging brain” is Matthew E. Fink M.D., professor of Clinical Neurology & Vice Chairman for Critical Services in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

There will be queries and comments but, as the most able and gifted series planner and moderator Alice Fisher tells the audience, “in the interest of fairness, queries and comments must be brief and only one to a customer!” Oh, and may your introductory remarks stress the need for the speaker and everyone else, to speak loud enough for those who are hearing-impaired. (These series must also address that). And, incidentally, more “senior” voices and their unique concerns need to be heard there and everywhere else, with more interaction between the Boomer and younger generations there and everywhere.

So grateful for you, dear readers and for this paper – not only on Thanksgiving.

dewingbetter@aol.com

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